Meet Our Team
The vision of the Qualicum Beach Historical and Museum Society is to facilitate honest conversations about our past, present, and future.
The foundation of our work is based in respect, decolonization, truth, and reconciliation. We believe being socially responsible, including equity, diversity, and inclusion, is directly connected to the actions we take. We are in service to our communities, and always listening and engaging in thoughtful ways.
The Vision will be re-visited at least every five years to ensure that it remains appropriate for our capabilities and activities. To view our current Strategic Framework document, please click here: QBM Strategic Framework and Path to Success 2023
Board of Directors
Merideth Bisiker – Treasurer
Merideth is grateful to have lived in Qualicum Beach with her husband and children since 2006. In addition to serving as Treasurer with the museum, she wears several other hats, including: working and consulting in the non-profit arts and culture sector in British Columbia, centering this work in equity and systems change; providing executive coaching to professionals living around the world; attending full-time studies in pursuit of a degree in industrial and organizational psychology; and, most importantly, a mom to two teens. Through her past and current work, Merideth has gained an intimate understanding of the challenges that non-profit administrators and organizations face, and leans on this experience to lend support to the Museum’s staff and board. She is proud to serve as Treasurer, and feels privileged to have the capacity to serve in this role alongside her dedicated fellow board members and the museum’s exceptional team members.
Og wil a Recalma – QFN Liaison
Og wil a, (Bill) started his term on the QBH&MS board in November 2018. Bill was born in 1952 and has lived in the Qualicum area his entire life. He lived in Victoria for 19 years and returned home. He commercial fished for 25 years which ended in a fishing accident. He belongs to the Qualicum First Nation and was on the Band council for two terms in 1988. He
went to Sprott-Shaw College to become a care aid which he continues to do. He also instructs a young men’s group on Life Skills. He is eager to be a member of the Qualicum Beach Collection Committee and is looking forward to sharing his knowledge of the Qualicum area.
Laurie Richards – Secretary
Greetings! My name is Laurie and together with my Australian Labradoodle puppy, Ashley, we moved to Eaglecrest on Thanksgiving weekend, 2020. In keeping with health awareness, our social circle is small but gratifying. The cul-de-sac neighbours is wonderful and volunteering in Oceanside is a great opportunity to meet people. Friendly dog-walkers on Qualicum’s forested trails, meadows and sandy beaches provide stories and directions to places well worth discovering. Oceanside is a slice of Heaven. When the QB Museum reached out for volunteers I found a jewel of civic pride! My years of experience in the Museum of Vancouver is an excellent path into our Museum which is packed with social history and paleo history of this area. The exhibits attach intrigue and importance to the stories circulating of Qualicum Beach. My adult daughters and spouses live in Kitsilano in Vancouver, with pets which include Ashley’s older sibling, named Finley as well as two feisty bunny rabbits, named Basil and Lily. I enjoy classical music and baking … the ideal rainy Saturday morning is in the kitchen baking blueberry scones before going to the cinema to watch a performance of LIVE at The NY MET.
Councillor Jean Young – Town Liason
David Ireland – President
David is a retired Royal Canadian Naval Officer (Combat Systems Engineer) whose technical background and personal interests now find a fulfilling outlet in his wish to assist museum staff in realizing many of the design, construction, and maintenance projects they wish to progress. Born and raised in Victoria, David’s family often vacationed in the Oceanside area, enjoying the local beaches, exploring the surrounding countryside, and camping (free of charge) at a number of locations now long since disappeared.
Prior to joining the Navy, David was employed in truck driving, commercial fishing, technical sales, government radio systems installations and maintenance, and even as a baker’s assistant … all pursuits which contributed to a life-long curiosity, a willingness to assist, and a confidence to build or repair almost anything that might be useful to the museum.
David also serves as a Director of the Mid Island Radio Association (MIRA), and as a member of the Oceanside Emergency Communications Team (OECT), an organization poised to respond at the direction of civil authority when disaster strikes.
Audrey Cope – Director
I came to Qualicum Beach 30 years ago and raised our son in this beautiful village. I remember many wonderful excursions to the museum with him. I grew up in New Jersey and lived in Washington DC before marrying my Canadian husband and coming to Qualicum Beach. My husband and I own a very busy aluminum boat design business and love boating when we have time. I was also involved in the travel business for many years. I look forward to serving on the Board of the Qualicum Beach Museum.
Ray Woroniak – Director
Ray enjoys creating opportunities for youth, and advocating for our natural environment. He is an elected Community Representative for the UNESCO Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, a Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers Director, and a Representative for the Mid Island Stewardship Caucus. Ray leads data gathering and environmental restoration projects in our community, and participates in various parts of the school district, including parent advisory councils, coaching chess club, and organizing the Brant Wildlife Children’s Festival. Ray joins the Qualicum Beach Museum Board of Directors with much excitement and in an effort to bring more opportunities for youth and awareness of our natural environment to our community.
Fran Higgins – Director
Born in Victoria B.C., raised in Bamfield B.C., and attended school there until Grade 5, I was enrolled in Queen Margaret’s School for Girls in Duncan B.C. for Grade 6. I graduated from there and moved to Victoria where my parents had enrolled me in a Secretarial School run by the provincial Education Department. My jobs were varied and included two car dealerships, Revenue Canada, and the City of Victoria. My last year and a half at City Hall was spent as a representative on the Job Evaluation – Pay Equity Committee. A very challenging and rewarding experience. In 1993, we moved to Qualicum Beach for my daughter to finish her education and go on to take her degree at VIU and QB came highly recommended for middle and high school. I worked in retail in office supply stores in Parksville until I retired. After my husband passed, my daughter, her husband and I bought a house together in Qualicum Beach.
I love being back in Qualicum Beach. I was involved with Rotary in Parksville and with Streamkeepers in Qualicum. On a personal note, I feel I must share that I have ADD, and have lived with it my whole life, undiagnosed. It was something I learned to work around, and I have not let it impact my work or social contributions.
About Our Society
In search of a “fireproof” building to accommodate the group, the Township purchased a half-acre piece of land from BC Hydro in 1985 on which stood the original brick and steel Power House. This building, constructed in 1929 had housed the two British diesel engines which produced electricity for the Town and surrounding area until it went on grid in 1935. The “Power House” building, possibly the last of the early style Power House buildings, was restored and designated as a heritage building. This allowed the Society to start receiving artifacts. A Vivian Diesel Engine, similar to the one that served as the back-up generator in the Power House, was purchased from a BC Hydro facility located at Daisy Lake near Squamish and was restored by members of the Society. It is currently displayed within the Power House.
As the Museum lacked the appropriate space for archives, workshops and storage, the Annex was built in 2001 by community volunteers with donated materials. It now houses Accessioning and Archives as well as storage for many of the artifacts that cannot be displayed due to space limitations.
The planning and labour to establish the Museum land and present buildings has been accomplished through the hard work of its dedicated founders and subsequent members, who have given thousands of volunteer hours to accomplish their collective vision.
This vision involved other historical buildings in the community that would have been lost, but have been lovingly restored and now stand as touchstones to the past.
The museum could not function without the dedicated army of volunteers who are active in many areas. Our volunteers help with archives and collections, museum reception, school programs, semi-annual ‘work bees’, and special events such as Children’s Museum Day.
Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of our museum. They bring key skills and knowledge, increase the outreach to our community, and are active advocates for the promotion of the museum. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact us today! With your help, we can continue to preserve the history of Qualicum Beach for years to come.